Mousetale Puppets
 
Suitable for:
Duration:
Up to 30 children, P4-7
Negotiable to suit your topic; minimum of 2 whole days input from myself
 
An ambitious workshop package in which I help a class not only make their own puppets but design, write, produce and stage a production in groups. The workshop essentially forms the basis of a class topic, and my involvement should be spread over a period of several weeks if possible. Schools can decide how much input they want me to provide. This is a minimum of 2 whole days - the first and the last day of the project - but I can provide any number of days or half-days in between depending on your needs and budget. The more time I can be in class, the richer the experience will be and the wider the range of outcomes.
 
 

Some of the areas offered are:

  • Character design
  • Puppet making, controls & technology *
  • Story development & writing a play
  • Character development - drama
  • Themes & morals
  • Use of music & sound effects
  • Recording & producing audio
  • Scenery - made quickly & cheaply!
  • Performance skills - puppetry & voice
  • Marketing - knowing your audience
  • Teamwork & problem-solving!
  Mousetale Puppets Schools Shadow Workshop  
 
 
* The normal medium is shadow puppetry but schools can choose 3D paper mache as an alternative for the project. This however takes up more class time so my recommendation is to stick with shadows and achieve more in other areas such as writing and sound. The workshop is essentially a much expanded version of my half-day Animal Shadows Workshop.
 
 
  The project culminates in a performance of the children’s shows before a live audience! This can be the infants, parents or an end of term concert, and can take place in the afternoon, evening, or both. I provide lighting and sound equipment on the day, operate it, and direct the plays during rehearsals. Evaluation can take the form of a class discussion after the show. The workshop functions well as a technology or enterprise project with additional possibilities of designing posters and selling tickets through the use of a marketing team.  
 
  Mousetale Puppets 3D school workshop  

“My Primary 6 class were well motivated and focussed throughout the project. They learned many new skills in design, technology, play-writing and performing. They found out how important it was to co-operate in a group situation and above all they enjoyed every stage of the process.”

P6 Class Teacher,
Sighthill Primary School,
Edinburgh

 
 
 

“Performing on stage was a fantastic experience” - Kieran P6

“We had the chance to do something really different” - Donna P5

“The lead up to the show was very exciting” - Amy P6

“It taught us a new skill” - Amy P5

“The experience helped us to work together” - Allan P6

“It gave us the chance to express ourselves” - Rebekah P6

Pupils in South Lanarkshire

 

“A creative, highly challenging experience for all involved.”

P7 Class Teacher,
Merrylee Primary School, Glasgow


 
 
 

Detailed Programme:

FIRST DAY:
I introduce the project and demonstrate the making techniques to be used. I then work with the class, each child producing a unique animal puppet. I encourage them to think ahead as they plan and design their puppets with a final outcome in mind. Children are then put into groups, ready to begin story work. I give a 30 minute talk on writing a play - a springboard for continuing work on stories and scripts, whether that is to be with or without my involvement. If time allows, we make a start on initial brainstorming in groups before the end of the school day.

DURING THE PROJECT:
I can be brought in for whole or half days during the project according to your needs and budget. Extra days can be used for any of the following options: focus on story and script (devising plays which can realistically be performed on stage), more advanced puppet-making (addition of colour to shadow puppets), voice/delivery/pacing, use of music and sound effects, recording the plays to create a soundtrack (recommended), thorough rehearsals & work on performance/drama aspect. While at the school I will resource each of these areas with any necessary equipment.

LAST DAY:
I return to the school early on the final day of the project and set up a curtain and shadow screen with sound and lighting equipment in the hall/GP room. Each group is allocated rehearsal time with me in the hall. I work with the children on performance skills, puppeteering and back-stage work. I also operate sound and lighting for the groups. Meanwhile, other groups may have final preparations to make in the classroom such as the finding/making of simple scenery/props, and practicing along with a CD (if you have opted to have scripts recorded). In the afternoon, the groups are ready to perform their shows in the hall in front of an audience!

Features & benefits:

  • Adaptable - can be as simple or as ambitious as your imagination and budget allows
  • Unsurpassed in terms of interdisciplinary learning
  • Integrates well with Curriculum for Excellence objectives
  • Children experience the energy and excitement of participating in a live performance
  • Partnership with an external creative professional as recommended in CfE
  • Explore or convey other themes, topics or issues in a dramatic context - eg bullying, the environment, healthy living etc
  • Work as a team. Then evaluate and appreciate other groups' work and your own
  • Invite parents and family members into the school to see a professionally presented show of pupils' work
  • An ideal enterprise project
  • Keep a CD of your recorded soundtracks as a record of your work, and display your puppets in school

Contact me if you’re interested. I will gladly discuss your individual needs.
For workshop prices see Prices page or call me. (Generally I charge by the day or half day - tailored to your needs and budget.)

 
 

See also:

Animal Shadows Workshop
Early Years Workshops

 

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